The Latin America social hierarchy was based on social stratification which was widely used in Latin America for social control. This classification determined a person’s influence, control, supremacy and individual rights in the Latin American society and these factors were determined on the basis of segregation of people.
The social class system is always dependent on certain rules or specification on which the social partition of that society is based on. Same was the case with social stratification in Latin America. Actually the Latin America social hierarchy was totally structured on one thing – the place one was born. Simply if a person was born in Spain then he automatically came under the superior class. So these superior social classes enjoyed more power, control, economic freedom along with services from lower classes.
The social classes in Latin America were prearranged in the manner that is described in brief as below. The hierarchy is explained starting from the highest rank group having utmost power and influence in Latin America and finishing with the social group having lowest rights, control and power. Let us have a quick look at the Latin America social hierarchy.
The highest social group in the Latin America social hierarchy was of Peninsulares. These were people who were born in Spain not in Latin America. They were considered of true blood. This social class was also termed as Spaniards. These people enjoyed top most power, rights, authority and economic favors in the society. Entire political powers were also under their administration. They controlled the entire government along with economic affairs of the society.
The people who were born in Latin America but their parents were Peninsulares formulated this next social class of the Latin America social hierarchy. In simple words, though they were not born in Spain but they belonged to Spanish ancestry. The Creoles people were provided with the majority of the local land ownership. They also enjoyed nobility over other social classes of the Latin America.
Mulattoes / Mestizos
This social class incorporated people who were of mixed ancestry. In simple words, when a Creoles married a lower class person the babies they had by their join fell in the category of Mestizos. They were normally termed as Mulattoes.
This expression in the Latin America social hierarchy was also termed as the Indigenous class. These people were basically inhabitants of Mesoamerica. This social class was subordinate to Mestizos class. These people were provided few rights along with some authorities in the society.
The second lowest social class in the Latin America social hierarchy was of Negros. These were the people from black ancestry or having black skin appearance. They were basically African slave descendent.
These people were not freed people. They were slaved labors for the higher social classes. These poor people were provided with zero rights of their own. They led a very despondent miserable life.